Is God Disappointed in Our Mistakes or Disobedience?

FROM  Aug 10, 2020 Category: Ligonier Resources

Sin is no mere mistake. It’s a willful act of disobedience against the holy, righteous God. In this Q&A video from our 2016 National Conference, R.C. Sproul and Michael Reeves warn of the seriousness of sin. Get answers to your biblical and theological questions online as they arise at Ask.Ligonier.org.

He Did it Just for You – UpWords – August 15

Max Lucado

He Did it Just for You 
by Max Lucado

When God entered time and became a man, he who was boundless became bound. Imprisoned in flesh. Restricted by weary-prone muscles and eyelids. For more than three decades, his once limitless reach would be limited to the stretch of an arm, his speed checked to the pace of human feet.

I wonder, was he ever tempted to reclaim his boundlessness? In the middle of a long trip, did he ever consider transporting himself to the next city? When the rain chilled his bones, was he tempted to change the weather? When the heat parched his lips, did he give thought to popping over to the Caribbean for some refreshment?

If ever he entertained such thoughts, he never gave in to them. Not once. Stop and think about this. Not once did Christ use his supernatural powers for personal comfort. With one word he could’ve transformed the hard earth into a soft bed, but he didn’t. With a wave of his hand, he could’ve boomeranged the spit of his accusers back into their faces, but he didn’t. With an arch of his brow, he could’ve paralyzed the hand of the soldier as he braided the crown of thorns. But he didn’t.

Want to know the coolest thing about the coming?

Not that he, in an instant, went from needing nothing to needing air, food, a tub of hot water and salts for his tired feet, and, more than anything, needing somebody—anybody—who was more concerned about where he would spend eternity than where he would spend Friday’s paycheck.

Not that he kept his cool while the dozen best friends he ever had felt the heat and got out of the kitchen. Or that he gave no command to the angels who begged, “Just give the nod, Lord. One word and these demons will be deviled eggs.”

Not that he refused to defend himself when blamed for every sin since Adam. Or that he stood silent as a million guilty verdicts echoed in the tribunal of heaven and the giver of light was left in the chill of a sinner’s night.

Not even that after three days in a dark hole he stepped into the Easter sunrise with a smile and a swagger and a question for lowly Lucifer—“Is that your best punch?”

That was cool, incredibly cool.

But want to know the coolest thing about the One who gave up the crown of heaven for a crown of thorns?

He did it for you. Just for you.

From His Name is Jesus
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009) Max Lucado

GREG LAURIE DEVOTIONAL

HARVEST GREGLAURIE DEVOTIONAL

The Christian life is not a playground; it’s a battleground. In fact, the Bible frequently uses the images of war and conflict to depict the Christian life.

The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy, “Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:3 NLT). He also wrote, “I have fought the good fight” (2 Timothy 4:7 NLT).

Anyone who chooses to follow Jesus Christ will face severe opposition from the Enemy. But the good news is that we have a choice in the spiritual battle. We can win this war. And here’s more good news: we’ll win in the end.

Jesus said the gates of Hell would not prevail against the church (see Matthew 16:18). To understand what that means, we have to look at the way they conducted warfare in ancient times.

Armies in that day used the common military tactic of breaking down the gate of the enemy’s fortress with a battering ram. (You’ve probably seen it in movies.) They sometimes lit the battering ram on fire to burn down a wooden gate. Then the soldiers rushed in and defeated the occupants of the fortress.

Jesus was saying the gates would not prevail against the battering ram. So, as we move forward as Christians, we gain ground—we don’t simply hold ground. And hopefully we don’t lose ground, either.

God has told us how to win this spiritual battle. Our objective is to reach as many people as we can with the gospel. And as we advance into enemy territory with the gospel message, ultimately, we will win the battle.

So, if you feel a little overwhelmed in the spiritual battle right now, understand that God is with you. If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, then you’re under His protection. He’s watching out for you.

Keep Your Armor On

Saturday, August 15, 2020

GREG LAURIE

LISTEN  

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

—Ephesians 6:13

When there’s an emergency and a police officer arrives on the scene, sometimes he or she will call for backup.

We need to do the same thing in the spiritual battle. We need to call for backup, and that backup is the Lord himself.

We cannot overcome the Devil in our own strength. The Book of Acts records a time when some men identified as the sons of Sceva tried to cast out a demon. (By the way, the Bible never validates exorcists. It validates casting demons out of people, but there’s no real biblical office of an exorcist or the specific gifting of an exorcist.)

These sons of Sceva tried to cast a demon out of someone because they had seen the apostle Paul do it. And they thought they could do it as well, like there was some magic formula. So, they said to a demon-possessed man, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches” (Acts 19:13 NKJV).

But the demon in the man answered, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (verse 15 NKJV). Here’s what happened next: “Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded” (verse 16 NKJV).

That’s what happens when you try to take on the Devil in your own strength. So, don’t go there.

The Devil is a powerful fallen angel, and we’re no match for him on our own. We must recognize this is a spiritual battle, and it must be fought with spiritual weapons. And we need to put on the full armor of God and never take it off, because we’ll be in this battle until the final day.

The spiritual battle ends when we get to Heaven, not before. So, keep your armor on.